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Gov hopeful schools can reopen; 1 new virus death reported

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Gov hopeful schools can reopen; 1 new virus death reported

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo said Wednesday her administration is still weighing how to reopen schools this fall, even as some teachers, administrators and parents are increasingly voicing concerns that the coronavirus is not under adequate control ahead of the state’s planned Aug. 31 start.

The Democratic governor acknowledged there are many unanswered questions to address before schools open, including transportation to special needs students. But she said she believes in-person classes are best for the mental and physical health of students.

School districts submitted to the state last week their plans for either providing full in-person, limited in-person or full remote learning.

Raimondo promised the state’s decision on schools would be guided by science, not politics. She also said she and state education officials will be providing updates throughout the week on school planning efforts going forward.

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“Right now, everything is on the table,” Raimondo said. “It’s mid-July. We don’t know what life will be like Aug. 31.”

Parents and school officials have said they’re skeptical students can be safely taught in-person.

Robert Walsh, executive director of the National Education Association of Rhode Island, the state’s largest teachers’ union, has expressed concerns about ensuring social distancing in classrooms and on school buses.“I am afraid for my health, for the health of my students and the families of my students,” Providence public school teacher Elisheva Stark said in a recent remote meeting about reopening schools.__STERN WARNINGSRaimondo praised Rhode Islanders on Wednesday for mostly adhering to the state’s strict rules to limit the spread of the coronavirus.But she had stern warnings for bars that allow for overcrowded conditions, people that host large […]

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